Blessed Paul VI issued his encyclical in 1968.
Blessed Paul VI issued his encyclical in 1968. (U.N. photo via CNA)
VATICAN  |  SEP. 11, 2017
Humanae Vitae Comes Under Fire
COMMENTARY: Recent developments in Rome indicate a campaign is underway to challenge the encyclical’s prohibition against artificial contraception.

VATICAN CITY — Half way through the first synod on the family, when it was becoming clear that heterodox agendas were being pursued in heavy-handed and deceptive ways, a well-respected Church figure took me aside at a reception with a pained expression on her face.

“Of course, you realize this is all about Humanae Vitae,” she said. “That’s what I think they’re after. That is their goal.”

What she meant was that the many dissenters of Blessed Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical wanted the Church’s ban on artificial contraception — which Humanae Vitae (The Regulation of Birth) reaffirmed — softened and ultimately undermined.

At the time, her prediction seemed plausible, but too speculative. The synod participants didn’t seem too exercised by the issue, and Humanae Vitae was largely left alone, at least directly. German-speaking prelates, who took a leading role in the controversies during both synods on the family, even spoke warmly of the encyclical at a closing press conference of the second synod.

But as the Church prepares to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae in 2018, the recent revelation of a four-member stealth commission to study the document — and other subtle and less subtle attempts to weaken the Church’s moral teaching — are making the concerns of the Church figure at the 2014 synod look ominously prescient.

In his encyclical, Paul VI re-affirmed the Church’s prohibition of artificial contraception, approved natural family-planning methods, and upheld the Church’s teaching on conjugal love and responsible parenthood.

It caused a sensation when published: In the wake of the sexual revolution — when much of the world had accepted birth control — and after a five-year study by a pontifical commission that appeared to be vying for the Church to also approve it, Paul VI’s reaffirmation that contraceptive use is “intrinsically wrong” made it one of the most controversial encyclicals in Church history. Immediately, many clerics and academics outright rejected Humanae Vitae’s teachings.

And yet many, particularly those who have devoted their lives to defending life, vigorously uphold Humanae Vitae as prophetic. They argue that the widespread acceptance of artificial birth control, revolutionized by the contraceptive pill for women, has separated the unitive and procreative purposes of sexual relations. This, in turn, has fueled the sexualization of culture and promiscuity now prevalent in the West, precipitating legalized abortion, the collapse of marriage, and inflicting deep harm on the family.

By contrast, the encyclical’s dissenters have pressured the Church for its teaching on artificial contraception to be loosened, arguing it is unrealistic, out of touch with people’s lives, and needs “updating.” A 2014 poll of Catholics in five countries by left-leaning broadcaster Univision found that 78% supported artificial contraception.

Now, dissenters — who today hold positions of influence and enjoy support from some in the highest ranks of the Church — appear to be viewing the upcoming anniversary as a golden opportunity, half a century in the making. Evidence to show that efforts are underway to exploit this opportunity is not hard to discover. One of the most visible has been the creation earlier this year of the four-member commission, quietly established by the Vatican with the Pope’s approval, to study Humanae Vitae.

The commission was never formally announced: The veteran Vatican correspondent Marco Tosatti first reported rumors of it, and the Vatican only confirmed its existence after the Italian website Corrispondenza Romana was able to verify the rumors in June, after it obtained a classified memorandum, circulated by Archbishop Giovanni Becciu, the sostituto or deputy, secretary of state.

The memorandum states that the commission is to “promote a comprehensive and authoritative study” of the encyclical to coincide with the anniversary and listed its four members. They include Msgr. Gilfredo Marengo, the commission coordinator who is professor of theological anthropology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, and Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, appointed dean of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute last year.

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, was the first to publicly defend the commission’s work after news of it was leaked, telling Catholic New Agency that the initiative aimed at “studying and deepening” the encyclical. But he denied it was a “commission” whose purpose was to “reread or reinterpret” the document.

Msgr. Marengo further played down its influence, explaining its purpose is simply to carry out a “work of historical-critical investigation,” reconstructing the “whole process of composing the encyclical.”

But added to its unannounced beginnings, the mere existence of such a commission has left many suspicious and asking: Why make all the effort to deepen and study something that will not fundamentally change?

Also viewed as suspect is the unprecedented level of access given to the commission members. According to the memorandum, the Pope has given the scholars permission to view the relevant historical archives not only of the Secretariat of State, but also the Vatican Secret Archives and that of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Msgr. Marengo insisted such access was relevant, given the document’s importance and the debates it unleashed. Humanae Vitae, he said in a July 25 interview, “must be placed in the context of everything important and fruitful the Church has said on marriage and family during these last 50 years.” But such privileges haven’t even been awarded to researchers of Venerable Pius XII’s pontificate during World War II, despite years of lobbying for the archives to be opened.

All of which amounts to a concern that the commission is being used as a cover: to look at the scientific and historical character of the document, but with the ultimate goal of presenting the Pope with enough information for the encyclical’s dissenters to say: “Times have changed — Humanae Vitae needs to be interpreted in the light of conscience, according to the complexity of people’s lives today.”

Before his death on Sept. 6, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra had privately expressed similar grave concerns about the commission. Like others, he believed the opening of the archives was a ploy to obtain selected findings and then present them to show that Paul VI’s commission was moving in the direction of loosening the Church’s teaching on contraception, but undue pressure was placed on the Pope to reassert the doctrine.

Another expected strategy by commission members and other “revisionists” is to present any re-interpretations as part of a “change in paradigm” in moral theology, just as was achieved with Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) in allowing for some civilly remarried divorcees to receive Holy Communion. The emphasis is expected to be on changing pastoral practice to make it more applicable to today — a tactic, say critics, to alter and soften Church teaching by finding exceptions, while all the time insisting the doctrine won’t be changed.

Msgr. Marengo has firmly denied such an intention, insisting that “the issue of a conciliation between Amoris Laetitia and Humanae Vitae is not in the agenda.” But in an article in March for Vatican Insider — headlined, “Humanae Vitae and Amoris Laetitia: Parallel Histories” — he warned that the Church’s moral teaching can be too abstract and detached for people to follow and asserted that “responsible creativity” should be risked in pastoral care. He also quoted Pope Francis’ address to the John Paul II Institute in October, in which Francis warned against presenting “a theological ideal of marriage that is too abstract, almost artificially constructed, far from the concrete situation and of effective possibilities of families as they are.”

But the commission is not the only means to maximize this long-awaited opportunity to change Humanae Vitae. Further evidence can be seen in what appears to be a four-year concerted attempt to marginalize the teachings of Pope St. John Paul II, who led the resistance to a relativistic interpretation of the encyclical.

As archbishop of Krakow, Poland, Karol Wojtyla contributed to the commission that drafted the document (although he was unable to take part personally due to the communists’ travel restrictions) and strove to uphold the Church’s teaching in the document by emphasizing personalism (seeing man as a person rather than an object) with the natural law.

His teachings ever since formed a bulwark against the dissenters. Most notably they include his 1981 apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio (The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World) and his theology of the body catecheses — both attempts to provide an anthropological foundation and explanation for the encyclical’s teaching. Perhaps even more significant was his 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor (The Splendor of Truth), which for the first time presented Catholic moral doctrine in a systematic and formal way, firmly rejecting any relativist interpretation of an intrinsically evil act (an action that is always morally wrong, regardless of its particular circumstances), such as use of artificial contraception.

The operation to marginalize John Paul II ahead of next year’s anniversary has been visible in two primary ways: First, by largely ignoring his teachings during the previous two synods to allow the kind of “paradigm shift” in the Church’s moral teaching that found its way into Amoris Laetitia.

Second, by overhauling the leadership of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, respectively replacing its chancellor and dean with Archbishop Paglia and Msgr. Sequeri. Both are known supporters of softening the teaching of Humanae Vitae.

Msgr. Sequeri, who is not a moral theologian, but a specialist in aesthetic theology and musicology, has written the introduction to a new book entitled, Amoris Laetitia: A Turning Point for Moral Theology, edited by Stephan Goertz and Caroline Witting, in which it is argued that Amoris Laetitia represents a paradigm shift for all moral theology, and especially in interpreting Humanae Vitae.

For his part, Archbishop Paglia was unable to give a clear answer when I asked him in early July if he agreed with the encyclical’s teaching against use of artificial contraception. The document “must be studied and more fully appreciated, particularly in the light of the challenges we face every day,” he said, highlighting the “negative consequences of gender ideology, the de-population crisis in the West, the omnipresence and invasiveness of technology, and mankind’s inability to hold on to its own humanity.”

Another reason for concern about Archbishop Paglia’s position with respect to Humanae Vitae is a document he circulated privately among family synod participants, advocating “the gift” of reception of Communion for divorced-and-civilly-remarried Catholics who request such permission from their bishops. In light of that synodal intervention, as well as a corresponding approach in a Vatican-published book he edited in 2015 with Msgr. Sequeri entitled, Church Family — An Indissoluble Bond, evidence of Archbishop Paglia’s support for a similar softening of Church teachings on artificial contraception appears solid.

In addition to marginalizing John Paul II, further evidence of moves to undermine the encyclical can be seen in new members chosen for the Pontifical Academy for Life — also since last year placed under the leadership of Archbishop Paglia. Several of them have gone on the record to voice their dissent from Humanae Vitae, in particular Father Maurizio Chiodi, who uses arguments to justify contraception that critics say are condemned in Veritatis Splendor, and Jesuit Father Alain Thomasset, who wants to see the term “intrinsically evil” removed.

Finally, there are Pope Francis’ own comments regarding the encyclical’s teaching. Asked in 2014 if the Church should revisit the issue of contraception, he replied: “It all depends on how the text of Humanae Vitae is interpreted. Paul VI himself, toward the end, recommended that confessors show great kindness and attention to specific situations.”

He added it is not a question of “changing doctrine, but to go into the depths, and ensuring that pastoral [efforts] take into account people’s situations, and that, which it is possible for people to do.”

The Pope also last year praised one of the most prominent dissenters of Humanae Vitae, the German moral theologian Bernard Häring. And speaking to reporters in February last year, Francis cited favorably a mythological story of Paul VI allowing nuns in the Congo to use contraception for cases of violence. The case has historically been used by dissenters as a means to circumvent the encyclical’s teaching. The Pope is also sympathetic to the vision of the Church of the late Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Martini, who was very vocal in his opposition toHumanae Vitae.

So what is likely to happen? The commission will have no authority to enact changes, and, already, there are reports of divisions among them that will weaken its purpose. But some cardinals, bishops and theologians, as well as elements of the media, will use this opportunity to try to persuade Francis to modify Humanae Vitae using the strategies outlined above as well as others. From the other side, pressure will be exerted to leave the encyclical alone on the grounds that it has proven so prophetic and that the Church’s teaching on artificial contraception is based on her infallible moral teaching.

Debates will, therefore, deepen over the coming months, as the document considered the lynchpin of the Church’s resistance to the collapse in sexual morality in the West comes under intensified attack, directed not from the secular world or a few dissenting theologians and bishops this time, but from some of the most senior figures in the Church.

Edward Pentin is the Register’s Rome correspondent.

Also see moral theologian Father George Woodall’s concerns about Msgr. Marengo’s commission here.

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In recent years, many Catholics have looked to Cardinal Caffarra as one of the few lights in the present darkness.

A priest confided to me that in the past few days, he went to tell the Cardinal of his distress over the disasters that he endures in the Church every day, mentioning some incidents to him.

The cardinal burst into tears, saying:

“The Lord will not abandon His Church. There were twelve apostles, so the Lord will start again with a few. Imagine the suffering of Saint Athanasius, who was left alone to defend the truth for the love of Christ, of the Church and of men. We must have faith, hope and fortitude.”

The priest confided in me: “The cardinal was very sorrowful, but he conveyed to me so much courage and love for the Church.”

Caffarra’s reference to St. Athanasius refers to the darkest moment in Church history, when the Arian heretics took control of the Church in the fourth century.

Almost alone, Bishop Athanasius’ voice rose to the defense of Catholic truth. He was excommunicated by the pope and suffered exile four times.

But shortly thereafter, the Church returned to true faith and subsequently canonized Athanasius by proclaiming him Father and Doctor of the Church.

The priest that spoke with the cardinals repeated that he was very sorrowful. One might perhaps think that he died of a broken heart. Certainly in the secrecy of prayer, he had offered God his life for this poor, lost Christianity.

He was certain that in the world and in the Church, the Lord will win in the end. Thus, in recent years, he was found to be the protagonist of a powerful defense of the Catholic Faith and of the sacraments in the face of Pope Bergoglio’s Amoris Laetitia.

In this testimony, he was comforted by the prophetic words which he had received years ago from Sister Lucia of Fatima in a letter in which she wrote to him that “the final battle between God and Satan will be about marriage and the family”.

This story – in addition to revealing to everyone his wisdom, his faith, and his courage – also shed light on his deep humanity.

I have a personal memory of this. It was August 15, 2010, the feast of the Assumption. My daughter Catherine had just awoken from a coma and was admitted to the “House of Awakenings” in the Bolognese hills.

To our surprise, that day, we saw Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop of Bologna, arrive in the intense heat, in his own humble and simple way.

He had come to see Catherine, whose plight he had followed, (we were in indirect contact) and he stayed with us the entire day.

He was dressed like a simple priest. He also went to greet everyone who was sick, as well as their relatives. A true man of God.

Up until then, I knew him as a very robust theologian, friend and collaborator of John Paul II and Benedict XVI who appreciated him so much.

But that day – in that place of pain and hope – I found him to be a true father. His humanity and his paternal wisdom struck me, and I found them all again in his last mission for the Church.

(Translated by Matthew Mangiaracina)


Originally published at Reprinted with permission.

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Editor’s note: This article is Part II of a series. For Part I, click here.

The traditional Mass can be compared to a tournament. At the beginning of a High Mass, the priest (knight) processes in with the deacon and sub-deacon (squires) and all the acolytes, torchbearers, and other servers (pages). The priest is arrayed in glorious attire, as are his assistants according to their rank. The choir is singing for its champion, who represents the king (Christ). The congregation bows to him. Coming to the foot of the altar, he does battle with his sins, backed with the beauty of the prayers. He proclaims the truth of the cosmic battle to all assembled (epistle and Gospel). He fights for his lady, the Church. Acting in the person of the king, he renews the great victory over death that Christ won for us on the Cross. The priest then strengthens all the people by helping them partake of the victory through Communion, so that all may depart to fight their own faults and win heavenly glory.

The priest is a powerful warrior; a custodian of secret truths and words; and, in a wondrous and mystical way, a father to all under his care. He is a champion for his people: he guards and nourishes them with the food of true doctrine; good example; and, most especially, the Eucharist.

All that I am saying may sound rather like a fairytale of King Arthur and the Holy Grail, or a Lord of the Rings rip-off.

Yet I find it extremely interesting that The Lord of the Rings, and books like it, suddenly became immensely popular just as “modern man” was supposed to have grown out of medievalistic symbolism (as the liturgists of the ’60s and ’70s would have us believe). Gandalf: Who does not love, admire, want to be like him? And yet what qualities of his are to be found lacking in St. Benedict? If we want spiritual protection, fatherhood, and angelic power over life and death, wisdom beyond that of mortals, we can find it all in Saint Benedict. Even if one looks purely for visual satisfaction, one finds a old man in flowing robes with a staff and long beard. This in not by accident. What JRR Tolkien shows his readers in the character of Gandalf is but a transposition of the qualities of any holy man of God.

What is there in Aragorn that cannot be found in St. Louis IX? In Galadriel that is not to be found in St. Hildegard of Bingen? All of the qualities people are attracted to in the genre of “fantasy” are to be found in the Catholic Church [1]. This present obsession with C.S. Lewis and Tolkien shows that people have a great hunger for true heroism.

It used to be the case that, instead of obsessing with the world of Tolkien’s Middle Earth through their teenage years, people had already seriously thought about or already entered into the religious or married state – and this even in the last century, not the middle ages. St. Thérèse of Lisieux entered the Carmel monastery when she was 15. At the same age, St. Padre Pio became a Capuchin. St. Peter Julian Eymard (my own patron) firmly decided to become a priest when he was 17. At the age of 16, St. Maximilian Kolbe received the Franciscan habit [2].

This is not to say there is anything wrong with, or not to be learned from, fiction – quite the contrary. Nonetheless, the disintegration of minds from reality has come to a point where young men and women no longer realize that the beautiful things in, for example, a book by Lewis or Tolkien are actually pointers to spiritual realities. Since the changes to the liturgy and the whole approach to the divine as advocated by the liberals during and after Vatican II, the identity of the church as “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic” is lost [3]. The Catholic identity has largely been lost, giving rise to a need for an alternative.

Having lost their identity via liturgical lobotomy, people don’t realize (or are incapable of realizing) that we can be just as cool as any of Tolkien’s characters – much more, in fact. We need only to remember that the Catholic priesthood and consecrated life still exist, and that it is the reality of which wizards and wise men, beautiful and happy kings and queens, good and evil magic are but a faint shadow. These fictional things depict the spiritual economy of the priesthood, the Mass, and the sacraments darkly, as through a glass.

* * *

At the altar, time stands still. As the Canon begins, the priest approaches T.S. Eliot’s “still point,” where “time past and time present are both perhaps present in time future” – that is, where the sacrifice of Calvary is made present for us all, making time eternally redeemable. Silence and adoration are the only fitting things to do now; this immense, incomprehensible mystery is fittingly shown to us and emphasized in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. At the altar, “You are not here to verify, / Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity / Or carry report. You are here to kneel / Where prayer has been valid” [4].

The New Mass is not this way. The priest is there to “mediate religion to the people” [5], to preside over a horizontal community gathering (as Cardinal Ratzinger said). He is there not to intercede to God on their behalf. Having separated from the Mass any sacrificial character, the Mass no longer has the ability to reward and fulfill the priesthood. Now that priesthood is no longer a great good to be assiduously striven after, men quite naturally gave up seeking it. For no reward, why make any effort?

* * *

It is time for men to remember that the apostle closest to our Lord was the beloved disciple. They will not lose anything by becoming close to our Lord. In fact, they will gain beyond their wildest expectations.

Pope Benedict XVI, in his inaugural address in 2005, said this:

Are we not perhaps all afraid in some way? If we let Christ enter fully into our lives, if we open ourselves totally to him, are we not afraid that He might take something away from us? Are we not perhaps afraid to give up something significant, something unique, something that makes life so beautiful? Do we not then risk ending up diminished and deprived of our freedom? And once again the Pope [ John Paul II] said: No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation. And so, today, with great strength and great conviction, on the basis of long personal experience of life, I say to you, dear young people: Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life. Amen.

If the religious life is to be attractive, it has to be – some might find this surprising – attractive! For men to see the priesthood as a comparable to – in fact, much greater, more demanding, and more rewarding a gift of self than – the married life, they must be gotten out of the ordinary – that is, the Ordinary Form, with its ordinary time, intelligibility to ordinary Catholics [6], and ordinary language and expectations.

If the priesthood is seen by our young boys as noble, honorable, and something special  –  a transformation of the man who is ordained by a power given by God that can only be wielded by the ordained  –  they will be drawn to it once more. Yes, the priesthood is a calling, but to make it possible for those called to answer, their intellects and wills must be given every opportunity to see the beauty of such a sacrifice and joyfully embrace it. And to complete their journey, seminarians must be allowed to act the part. They should be reminded that they are in training for something that transcends the lay state, and exhorted to act accordingly. Only then can they truly begin to entertain the sublime idea that they may, if God wills it, someday become Christ’s priests – and forever, sacerdos in æternum, be able to live the part! [7]

Service, Sacrifice, Fulfillment, Reward – these are inseparable from the priesthood’s success, its attraction, and its reward. It is not too late. Traditional monastic communities like the monks of Norcia, Silverstream, Clear Creek, and the Wyoming Carmelites prove this to be true. Traditional orders that serve in parishes, like the FSSP, the Institute of Christ the King, and the Transalpine Redemptorists prove this to be true. Communities of Canons, like the Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius and the Servi Jesu et Mariae prove this to be true.

The greatest men of all time undertake the hardest and most rewarding work of all time. Who were they, and what were they doing? They were the saints, and they were celebrating the Mass.

[1] I have no problems with The Lord of the Rings and JRR Tolkien. In fact, I love them. I am just pointing out that what is appealing in his stories actually exists.

[2] I am not suggesting that anyone should try to force a vocation or try to enter religious life before he is ready. In many ways, it takes longer for people to mature now than it did even 50 years ago. But I am pointing out that people need to realize that they have a duty to consider consecrated and married life in a much more serious way than they do right now.

[3] Not that Vatican II was the cause of all these problems, but it is a reference point and even dividing line between sanity and its alternative.

[4] T.S. Eliot, “The Four Quartets,” Little Guigding, line 45.

[5] Fr. Bryan Houghton, Mitre and Crook (New York: Arlington House, 1979),  43-45. This an excellent book – it wittily describes a fictional English bishop in the ’70s who decided to reverse the reforms of Vatican II in his diocese and how his clergy, laity, and fellow ecclesiastics react.

[6] A type of person that never existed, by the way.

[7] “The Identity Crisis in the Priesthood: Diminution by Design?” OnePeterFive by José Miguel Marqués Campo.

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The New Motu Proprio: the Antithesis of Authentic Liturgical Development



A new papal motu proprio letter on the liturgy was released today. It’s called Magnum Principium, and in my opinion, it’s a ticking timebomb.

But to better understand it, we must first have something to contrast it against.

If you’ve ever read Pope St. Pius V’s famous apostolic constitution on liturgy, Quo Primum (1570), you know that the Tridentine liturgical reforms were focused on the unification of the Latin Rite of the Mass, in order that the same Missal would be used everywhere throughout the universal Church. Some highlights:

[B]esides other decrees of the sacred Council of Trent, there were stipulations for Us to revise and re-edit the sacred books: the Catechism, the Missal and the Breviary. With the Catechism published for the instruction of the faithful, by God’s help, and the Breviary thoroughly revised for the worthy praise of God, in order that the Missal and Breviary may be in perfect harmony, as fitting and proper – for its most becoming that there be in the Church only one appropriate manner of reciting the Psalms and only one rite for the celebration of Mass – We deemed it necessary to give our immediate attention to what still remained to be done, viz, the re-editing of the Missal as soon as possible.

Hence, We decided to entrust this work to learned men of our selection. They very carefully collated all their work with the ancient codices in Our Vatican Library and with reliable, preserved or emended codices from elsewhere. Besides this, these men consulted the works of ancient and approved authors concerning the same sacred rites; and thus they have restored the Missal itself to the original form and rite of the holy Fathers. When this work has been gone over numerous times and further emended, after serious study and reflection, We commanded that the finished product be printed and published as soon as possible, so that all might enjoy the fruits of this labor; and thus, priests would know which prayers to use and which rites and ceremonies they were required to observe from now on in the celebration of Masses.

Let all everywhere adopt and observe what has been handed down by the Holy Roman Church, the Mother and Teacher of the other churches, and let Masses not be sung or read according to any other formula than that of this Missal published by Us. This ordinance applies henceforth, now, and forever, throughout all the provinces of the Christian world, to all patriarchs, cathedral churches, collegiate and parish churches, be they secular or religious, both of men and of women – even of military orders – and of churches or chapels without a specific congregation in which conventual Masses are sung aloud in choir or read privately in accord with the rites and customs of the Roman Church. This Missal is to be used by all churches, even by those which in their authorization are made exempt, whether by Apostolic indult, custom, or privilege, or even if by oath or official confirmation of the Holy See, or have their rights and faculties guaranteed to them by any other manner whatsoever.


We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons or whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be, be they even cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, or possessed of any other rank or pre-eminence, and We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us and, hereafter, to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites of other missals, however ancient, which they have customarily followed; and they must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal. [emphasis added]

Magnum Principiumon the other hand, is not concerned at all with the “original form and rite of the holy Fathers”. Instead, it references the “great principle” (from which the name of the letter is taken) of the Second Vatican Council “according to which liturgical prayer be accommodated to the comprehension of the people so that it might be understood”. This means, of course, to the liturgical revolutionaries (then and now) “the weighty task of introducing the vernacular language into the liturgy and of preparing and approving the versions of the liturgical books, a charge that was entrusted to the Bishops.”

I do not plan here to offer an in-depth analysis of the new motu proprio. I have no doubt that others far more qualified than I will come forward soon, taking the letter apart piece by piece. My purpose here is instead to leave you with my sense of what it will mean for the Church.

The upshot of this letter — clearly not written in the pope’s usual meandering, loquacious, and incomprehensible language, and therefore, almost certainly the work of someone else’s hand — is that the pope is ordering canon law be amended as follows:

Can. 838 – §1. The ordering and guidance of the sacred liturgy depends solely upon the authority of the Church, namely, that of the Apostolic See and, as provided by law, that of the diocesan Bishop.

§2. It is for the Apostolic See to order the sacred liturgy of the universal Church, publish liturgical books, recognise adaptations approved by the Episcopal Conference according to the norm of law, and exercise vigilance that liturgical regulations are observed faithfully everywhere.

§3. It pertains to the Episcopal Conferences to faithfully prepare versions of the liturgical books in vernacular languages, suitably accommodated within defined limits, and to approve and publish the liturgical books for the regions for which they are responsible after the confirmation of the Apostolic See.

§4. Within the limits of his competence, it belongs to the diocesan Bishop to lay down in the Church entrusted to his care, liturgical regulations which are binding on all.

As some noted very early in this papacy, one of its key themes was an abuse of the principle of subsidiarity — the otherwise laudable notion that matters should be decided by the lowest or least central authority competent to do so. But the key word here is “competent.” Bishops’ conferences, which have never had real authority, have demonstrated anything but competence over the past half century. Of course, this isn’t the sense of the word used when examining subsidiarity – it instead refers to the question of whether the body making the decisions has the legal qualifications and authority to do so. When it comes to the liturgy of the Universal Church, episcopal conferences are quite simpy out of their depth.

It should be noted that this false subsidiarity has been a feature of the present pontificate from its earliest stages. Bishops’ conferences were identified by Francis almost immediately as a means of decentralizing the power rightly concentrated in the Apostolic See.  See, for example, Evangelii Gaudium 32:

The papacy and the central structures of the universal Church also need to hear the call to pastoral conversion. The Second Vatican Council stated that, like the ancient patriarchal Churches, episcopal conferences are in a position “to contribute in many and fruitful ways to the concrete realization of the collegial spirit”.[36] Yet this desire has not been fully realized, since a juridical status of episcopal conferences which would see them as subjects of specific attributions, including genuine doctrinal authority, has not yet been sufficiently elaborated.[37] Excessive centralization, rather than proving helpful, complicates the Church’s life and her missionary outreach.

We saw this again, in a more concrete and damaging way, in Amoris Laetitia 3:

Since “time is greater than space”, I would make it clear that not all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium. Unity of teaching and practice is certainly necessary in the Church, but this does not preclude various ways of interpreting some aspects of that teaching or drawing certain consequences from it. This will always be the case as the Spirit guides us towards the entire truth (cf. Jn 16:13), until he leads us fully into the mystery of Christ and enables us to see all things as he does. Each country or region, moreover, can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs. For “cultures are in fact quite diverse and every general principle… needs to be inculturated, if it is to be respected and applied”.3

This is moral relativism, plain and simple.

And we have seen how well it has worked out for the faithful, haven’t we? With the decision on whether it is permissible to offer the sacraments to the divorced and remarried becoming the purview of individual bishops’ conferences, local ordinaries, and even parish priests, chaos has ensued. What is permitted in Poland is forbidden in Germany. And so on. The fundamental moral teachings of the Church were never intended to be relativized and parceled out through delegation. The Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, and this perversion of subsidiarity dangerously erodes in an obvious way both her unity and Catholicity, while at the same time undermining her holiness and her apostolic charge.

And now we are witnessing the delegation of authority over liturgical texts to groups of bishops that are all too often morally compromised or otherwise unwilling to prioritize the Divine Will, and thus, the good of the Church and the souls entrusted to her care. The accretions and substitutions and variations that Quo Primum sought to definitively end through the enforcement of a single liturgical missal for the Church’s primary and most ancient rite are now being willfully re-introduced. Only this time, they almost certainly won’t be well-meaning but misguided manifestations of regional piety, but rather a competitive race to the bottom to banalize and desacralize the Mass. What the Second Vatican Council did to the liturgy was bad enough, by giving license to the consilium to dissolve its structure and form and to replace its magnificent prayers with ersatz fabrications, ecumenical and interfaith gestures, and an overarching diminution in sacramental theology. But at the very least, one could say that the Novus Ordo had a singular missal, and a general instruction on how it should be followed. It was still possible for liturgical reformers to argue that what had been happening in so many parishes around the world were abuses, because they could point to texts from Rome indicating the way Mass should be offered if one wanted to incorporate reverence (which has always been, alas, only an option in the new rite, not a requirement).

Now, however, these abuses can become a true grassroots effort. Think globally, abuse locally — with ecclesiastical approval! Does anyone really believe that the completely gutted Congregation for Divine Worship and Sacraments won’t put its stamp of approval on any changes submitted? I don’t know if it’s standard practice for the secretary of the CDW to add the explanatory note on a papal motu proprio on liturgy, but the prefect of that congregation’s name — Cardinal Robert Sarah — was conspicuous by its absence. And it is hard not to wonder if it is because he wanted nothing to do with its contents.

Some are already speculating that the battle over “pro nobis” and “pro multis” in the words of the Consecration will come back with gusto, with individual conferences potentially allowing even more substantive changes to this most important prayer of the Mass — changes significant enough that the validity of the sacrament could be called into question. How naive must we be to hope that the damnable scourge of inclusive language won’t rear its ugly head after we thought it had breathed its last? It takes only a little imagination to envision just how unpleasant things might become.

Nevertheless, let it not be said that Catholics are not optimists. I have also already seen arguments that nothing of substance has really changed here. This delegation of the translation of texts is still supposed to be faithful to the originals, and still has to be approved by Rome, so why are people worried? This argument sounds strikingly similar to the one advanced by those who said that Amoris Laetitia didn’t change doctrine. The truth is, it didn’t. And that has done nothing to slow down the devastation to praxis that has followed in its wake.

And so it will be with the liturgy.

There is, however, a hopeful note in all this mess. The intentional balkanization of the Church’s “ordinary form” of the liturgy will undoubtedly only weaken it further. It will become harder and harder to sustain. It will create preferences and peculiarities, potentially pit diocese against diocese, and cost the Novus Ordo what little integrity it yet retains.

Perhaps this is the intention. Perhaps knowing that the vast majority of Catholics attend the so-called “ordinary form” of the Mass, the forces hell-bent on the deconstruction of the Catholic faith think this will “lay the axe not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the faith and its deepest fires.” But as my friend Hilary White has so often said, “The Church couldn’t have survived another ‘conservative’ pope.” Francis has woken people up, and they will never be able to sleep again. And once they began to evaluate why what he was doing was wrong, many began examining with a more critical eye all that has happened since the council that made the present moment possible.

The same may be true of the liturgy: the Church could not survive this ongoing divide between two forms of the same rite, expressing two discordant visions of liturgical theology and anthropology. I’ll never forget speaking with someone who only attends the Novus Ordo, and he surprised me by saying, “The future of the Church is the old Mass.” He hadn’t made the change in his own life, but he saw the handwriting on the wall.

And so, as these changes begin rolling out, more people will be turn their eyes to the Traditional Latin Mass. And while the fear exists — and I see it growing — that Summorum Pontificum will be revoked, I do not believe this is truly possible. Because as Pope Benedict XVI said, “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.”

For those of us who have found the Mass of the Ages, there is no turning back. And if they try to take it from us, they will fail. If they remove us from the churches, we will have Masses in schools, in auditoriums, in fields, in people’s homes.  We will do so with the confidence that others have trod this via dolorosa before us:

Matters have come to this pass: the people have left their houses of prayer and assembled in the deserts, — a pitiable sight; women and children, old men, and men otherwise infirm, wretchedly faring in the open air, amid most profuse rains and snow-storms and winds and frosts of winter; and again in summer under a scorching sun. To this they submit because they will have no part of the wicked Arian leaven.

– St. Basil the Great; Epistulae 242, 376 AD.

I, for one, will not go back. The ancient liturgies of the Church nourish and sustain us. They are our armor and armament. And if they come for them…Molon Labe!

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John-Henry WestenJohn-Henry Westen


Discoverer of HIV said the pill led to the AIDS epidemic

September 9, 2016 (LifeSiteNews)Luc Montagnier was not a conservative by any stretch of the imagination. In 2008, he won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus. He worked at the time at the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention in Paris, France.

Years before, in 1986, when AIDS first became known and was still popularly called “the gay cancer,” Montagnier, recently famous for his discovery, was speaking at a press conference in Caracas, Venezuela, during which he was deluged by reporters eager to learn more of the new killer virus. He was first asked by a reporter if the virus had been manufactured by the superpowers (the cold war was still on at the time) for bacteriological warfare, a popular theory at the time.

“No,” Montagnier replied, “it’s very old; we have blood samples from the 30s.”

How then do we explain that it is now so suddenly an epidemic? he was asked as a follow-up. “The pill” was his simple response. Silence ensued.

Christine Vollmer, the California-born daughter of a French anthropologist and an English mother, was acting as interpreter for the French-speaking Montagnier. Vollmer, a founding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life and a member of the Pontifical Council for the Family, spoke with LifeSiteNews about the incident. Vollmer was involved because the Nobel Laureate was invited to Caracas to speak about AIDS by the association that she heads.

When the media present asked how the pill related to AIDS — which was mainly found among men who had sexual relations with other men — Montagnier replied that the pill had the effect of causing a surge of promiscuity from the 60s to the 80s and promiscuity quickly leads to “these things” (by which he meant homosexual sexual practices).

In private conversation with Montagnier after the press scrum, Vollmer wondered aloud if he thought that perhaps the depopulation of Rome, which went from nearly two million in 200 AD to only about 30,000 in the span of little more than two centuries, was related to AIDS. “It is entirely possible,” he replied.

During other meetings organized by the Asociacion Provida de Venezuela for Montagnier with medical and university authorities, the theory was also discussed that the virus perhaps originated as a kind of autoimmune response caused by the unnatural absorption of male gametes by men through the unprotected rectum, bringing on a process of rejection and immune confusion. This theory had neither been proved nor disproved at the time.

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Democratic demagogue Sen. Al Franken interrogates Catholic law prof (via YouTube screen grab)

Rod Dreher


Democratic McCarthyites

The behavior of Sen. Al Franken in this exchange with a Catholic nominee for a judgeship is breathtakingly bigoted. Frighteningly so. Using the slanderous characterization by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Franken called the religious liberty legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom a “hate group,” and compared it to Pol Pot and the KKK. The nominee, law professor Amy Barrett, once gave a lecture to a summer training program for young Christian lawyers. In the clip, Franken demagogues her as a careless dupe of the crypto-Kluckers.

It is outrageous, truly outrageous. You have to watch the whole thing to appreciate how low-down and unprofessional this inquisition is. Sen. Franken once said this about the Council On American-Islamic Relations (CAIR):

“I thank you for your efforts to not only promote political engagement and protect civil liberties, but to further our national dialogue.”

The US Government once named CAIR an “unindicted co-conspirator” in a fraudulent scheme to fund the Islamist terrorist group Hamas. CAIR has concrete links to a number of truly nasty Islamists. As the Anti-Defamation League notes:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has distanced itself from CAIR over the years. In an April 2009 letter to the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security, the FBI explained that it suspended contact with CAIR because of evidence introduced during the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial, demonstrating that CAIR and its founders were part of a group set up by the Muslim Brotherhood to support Hamas. The trial ended with guilty verdicts on all charges against HLF and five of its officers, including a 65 year sentence for Ghassan Elashi, the founder of CAIR’s Dallas chapter.

“Until we resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and Hamas, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner,” the letter read. In September 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a review of the FBI’s interactions with CAIR to reaffirm the FBI policy prohibiting non-investigative cooperation with the group.

Now, imagine if Al Franken were up for a federal appointment, and he had to submit to a demagogic interrogation by a Republican jerk who was trying to turn him into an Islamist terror sympathizer. Or imagine that a Muslim law professor nominee for a federal judgeship had given a scholarly speech on sharia law and Western civil codes at a CAIR-sponsored conference. To attack her as an closet ISIS supporter would be outrageously offensive, and if it happened, the media would be all over it.

But this? Crickets.

In truth, these aren’t even legitimate comparisons. Alliance Defending Freedom, whose 2016 annual conference I attended, is a perfectly mainstream Christian organization. I don’t know all of their policy positions, or every case they’ve defended. Maybe I would agree with them, or maybe not. But they are on the right side of issues of central importance to religious liberty for Christians (and, by implication, others). I’ve spent time with ADF lawyers and staffers. These are deeply good people doing critically important work. It infuriates me to see a US senator smear them, and anyone associated with them.

This is McCarthyism. And Al Franken is not the only Democratic senator guilty of it. In the same hearing, Sen. Dianne Feinstein laid into Prof. Barrett over Barrett’s Catholic faith:

What on earth does that mean? Do Catholic judicial nominees who dissent from official church teaching have to put up with that kind of grilling? Would Sen. Feinstein subject an Orthodox Jew to that kind of questioning? I think we all know the answer to that.

A reader writes:

There’s a tidbit from the Feinstein/Durbin/Barrett kerfuffle that I think is highly illustrative of the problem that religious people have of being understood in our secularizing culture.

Feinstein’s office responded to a request National Review made for clarification; the response can be found in the update at the bottom of this post:

I was astounded by the quotes they chose to bolster their contention that “Professor Barrett has argued that a judge’s faith should affect how they approach certain cases.” The first one, for instance, is:

“Your legal career is but a means to an end, and . . . that end is building the kingdom of God. . . . [I]f you can keep in mind that your fundamental purpose in life is not to be a lawyer, but to know, love, and serve God, you truly will be a different kind of lawyer.”

It would appear that secular people in our society are increasingly unable (or unwilling) to see an individual’s commitment to Christian discipleship as anything other than a commitment to exert political power on behalf of their religion. If that is the case, then of course we cannot be anything other than a threat to them, because our faith–as expressed in statements like the above–means nothing more or less than a desire to impose our values on them.

I don’t know how familiar you are with “Critical Legal Theory” and its various outgrowths; but I certainly see its fingerprints here. If one does not see anything in the world but the raw exercise of power–if one insists that principles and doctrines and ideals (“the rule of law!”
“diversity and tolerance!”) are nothing but fine language used to dress up and disguise the will to power–then of course one will have no grasp of what religious people are all about. One will see them just as opposing players in the same ruthless game, fighting by the same tactics–including insincere but pretty-sounding slogans–towards the same single objective: bending society to their will.

(It must be admitted that religious hypocrites are of great help in buttressing this world-view, as there are far more of them to be found than confirmation bias strictly requires.)

As bad as Trump often is, can there be any doubt but that the Democrats and their ideological allies wish to impose a religious test for public life? No conservative Evangelical or orthodox Roman Catholic may participate.

Look at what the Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Catholic, had to endure on UK morning television. It’s quite extraordinary:

He carried it off unflappably, but it was shocking to me that a politician had to sit there and be harassed by journalists for his moral and religious beliefs about abortion and gay sex — even though he repeatedly said that there is a difference between what he holds to be true privately and what he would push for if he were the Conservative Party leader. In other words, Rees-Mogg failed to say what these journalists wanted him to say: that he is a Taliban papist.

If you don’t have time to watch the 12-minute inquisition, here’s a transcript.

Naturally the British media are stripping Rees-Mogg’s hide bare. From the Catholic Herald:

The Catholic MP was subject to vilification from a number of commentators.

Writing in the Guardian, Suzanne Moore called Rees-Mogg a “thoroughly modern, neoconservative bigot” adding that his Catholic views have “no place in public life”.

“As usual, Rees-Mogg’s religious faith is used to excuse his appalling bigotry, she said. “He is a Catholic and this kind of fundamentalism is always anti-women, but for some reason we are to respect it. I don’t. It has no place in public life.”

“Views that verge on fascistic are fine if dressed up in tweed with a knowledge of the classics thrown in. What a laugh!” she added.

In the Telegraph, Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman claimed that “anti-abortion” Rees-Mogg could “set the Tories back decades” with his views.

“Should he really be handed the leadership of a country whose majority views differ so entirely from his own?” she asked, adding: “That’s my business and yours.”

She hinted that if Rees-Mogg were ever to take the party leadership, it would represent the Tories returning to being the “nasty party”.

And look at this cartoon that appeared in the Times Of London:


The UK blogger Archbishop Cranmer writes:

Don’t you see? If you oppose same sex marriage, you’re a homophobic bigot. If you oppose abortion, you’re a misogynistic bigot. If you oppose uncontrolled immigration, you’re a racist bigot. If you’re concerned about what Muslims get taught in Wahhabi-funded mosques, you’re an Islamophobic bigot. If you support Brexit, you’re a xenophobic bigot.

Bigot, bigot, bigot…

It has become the cry of the secular sharia: the infallible law of the illiberal liberals who seek to crush all dissent and censor every utterance of Christian orthodoxy from the public sphere. It is designed to silence dissonance: there is simply no debate to be had if it might incite hate or hurt feelings. The only views which are worthy of broadcast airtime are those which don’t offend against the zeitgeist: the objective is to elevate sexual equality and human rights to suppress unaccommodating religious orthodoxy and oppress the recalcitrant religious conscience. “Socially conservative moral views are now teetering on the edge of criminality,” observed Charles Moore a few years ago. It has become unthinkable that a committed Christian (ie one of devout faith and orthodox morals) could ever again become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

And soon, no doubt, it will not be possible for one to be selected even as a Conservative Party candidate. All MPs and everyone in public life will be sifted by the emerging new Test Act and required to assent to the precepts of the new secular sharia, swearing fidelity to its immutable creed of sexual uniformity and gender equality. This is the new quasi-religious truth: heretics will not be tolerated. So, sadly, Jacob Rees-Mogg must ultimately go to the stake.

God bless him, along with all loyal and faithful Christian bigots everywhere.


They will say — they do say — that it won’t happen here, that Christians who say it is happening and that it will get worse are alarmists. And then when it does happen, they will say we deserve it, bigots that we are. The LGBT activist troll Zack Ford this week said that Bethany Shondark Mandel, an observant Orthodox Jew, doesn’t have the right to her beliefs. No, really, he said that:





You know what they’ll say? “Zack Ford is on the fringes.” “Zack Ford speaks for nobody but Think Progress.” Well, guess what: Think Progress and its parent organization, the Center For American Progress, are funded heavily by George Soros and are close to the Democratic Party establishment (John Podesta founded CAP). You watch Feinstein and Franken, and you realize that they are not so far from Zack Ford.

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If you are a social or religious conservative who thinks somehow that the same-sex revolution is going to pass you by, and leave your kids and your church and your kids’ school alone, so you don’t have to worry about it, well, what is wrong with you?

Lactatia, the 8 year old drag queen, the Pavlik Morozov of Post-Christian America (YouTube)

Rod Dreher


The Fruits Of Same-Sex Marriage

Australia is about to have a plebiscite over whether or not to have same-sex marriage. Writing in the Spectator‘s Australian edition, David Sergeant asks readers to consider what has happened in Britain since same-sex marriage became the law of the land. If it had been only marriage law that changed, it might have been tolerable. But of course there has been much more — as we’ve seen in the US, though not (yet) to the extent Britain has. Among the results:

Much was made in the UK, about supposed exemptions, designed to ensure that believers would always be allowed to stay true to their convictions.

Four years later, the very same people who made ‘heartfelt promises’, now work tirelessly to undermine them.

Equalities minister Justine Greening, has insisted that churches must be made to: ‘Keep up with modern attitudes. Likewise, the Speaker of the House of Commons, a position supposedly defined by its political neutrality, had this to say: I feel we’ll only have proper equal marriage when you can bloody well get married in a church if you want to do so, without having to fight the church for the equality that should be your right’.

It became clear, during this year’s general election, just how militant the LGBT lobby have become, following marriage redefinition.

I’ll say. You’ve got to read this. And, Sergeant says the gay marriage movement, and its second-generation SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) offshoots, have moved into education too:

Across the UK, ‘sex education’ has been transformed and disfigured. TV programmes, aimed at children as young as three, promote ‘gender fluidity’, as an enabler of thoughtfulness and individuality.

At the same time, Ministers have denied worried parents the right to withdraw their children from primary school classes. Meanwhile, ‘outside educators’ teach children about sex positions, ‘satisfying’ pornography consumption and how to masturbate. Concerns regarding STI’s and Promiscuity, are derided as ‘old-fashioned’.

Independent religious schools are under intense scrutiny. Dame Louise Casey, a senior government advisor, recently insisted that it is now: ‘Not Ok for Catholic schools to be homophobic and anti-gay marriage’.

Ofsted, the body responsible for school-assessment, has been wildly politicised. In 2013, Prior to the redefinition of marriage, Ofsted visited Vishnitz Jewish Girls School. They passed the school with flying colours. In fact, they went out of their way to highlight the committed and attentive approach to student welfare and development. Four years later, Ofsted returned. This time, they failed the school on one issue alone. While again, noting that students were ‘confident in thinking for themselves‘, their report, pointed to the inadequate promotion of homosexuality and gender reassignment. As such, it was failing to ensure: ‘a full understanding of fundamental British values’. It is one of an initial seven faith schools that face closure.

But those men and women who ought to have spoken out against this madness, and who ought to be speaking out now, to save what’s left, lack all conviction. Sergeant:

I mentioned that I was writing this article to a good friend in the Conservative Party, back at home. He expressed his genuine concern. Had I not considered the consequences? Did I not realise that what I said in Australia could be found when I returned to the UK? ‘LGBT progress is an unstoppable tide’. He assured me, that it was ok for me to ‘privately’ believe that marriage was between one man and one woman. He even privately agreed, that the stuff being taught in primary schools was too much.

But to say it out loud? To actually have it in print? It would blight my career and my personal relationships.

Good God. How much more important the institution of marriage and freedom of thought, religion and speech. How much more important the future of our children, than any naïve career ambitions I might harbour.

I urge every Aussie to examine the evidence, analysis the results and be clear about what you’re voting for. If it was solely marriage, it would worth preserving.

It’s infinitely more.

Read the whole thing. This is a clear manifestation of the Law of Merited Impossibility (“It will never happen, and when it does, you bigots will deserve it.”) It is now perfectly clear that those American activists and allies who said that changing marriage law would not be a big deal, and would only mean allowing same-sex couples to marry, were lying — either by intention, or by naively assuming that the juggernaut would stop right there and go no further. A friend of mine told me a couple of weeks ago that two second graders in his kid’s school are “transitioning,” and that his high school daughter came home from school to inform her parents that believing in “the gender binary” is tantamount to racial hatred.

As the SOGI phenomenon achieves cultural hegemony, orthodox Christians are going to be marginalized and scapegoated more and more. If you are a pastor or some kind of church leader, and you aren’t mobilizing your congregation to understand the times and get active to resist this, what is wrong with you? If you are a social or religious conservative who thinks somehow that this is going to pass you by, and leave your kids and your church and your kids’ school alone, so you don’t have to worry about it, well, what is wrong with you?

We have to fight in politics, we have to fight in the courts, but none of those battles will be worth winning if we haven’t fought in schools, churches, families, and elsewhere in the culture to defend our convictions. And note well, it cannot simply be a matter of saying what we are against; it must also, and even more strongly, be a matter of saying what we are for — and then doing what we must to live those things out, as well as to build the institutions, networks, and cells within which to build resistance.

Everybody else, say hello to Lactatia, the eight-year-old drag queen, in this clip from Elle magazine. That’s what Weimar America’s betters think of as a child hero and role model. The Soviets had Pavlik Morozov, the child hero who denounced his father to Stalin’s agents. We’ve got Lactatia.

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What do cardinals still have to fear if, at this point, nearly everything seems to be lost? When those who try to uphold the traditional moral teaching of the Catholic Church – not only about marriage, but also about contraception, homosexuality, abortion and much more are being increasingly punished and humiliated? For what are we still truly waiting? Until no one is left to come forth and speak up?

Saint Joan of Arc

A Moment of Grace: Will Two New Cardinals Rise to Support the Dubia?

The death of Carlo Caffarra, the beloved dubia Cardinal, has left an additional empty place in the group of the original four who presented their concerns to the pope concerning Amoris Laetitia. So much so, in fact, that one of the pro-papal apologists, Dr. Austen Ivereigh, even put on Twitter this somewhat breezy comment: “Only two of the four dubia cardinals alive.” (I will leave out here Dr. Ivereigh’s more explicitly demeaning comment about Cardinal Caffarra himself on the very day of his death.)

One could well imagine (but I do not claim any intimate knowledge here) that these two deaths might have left Cardinals Raymond L. Burke and Walter Brandmüller so discouraged that they doubt whether they would even be able to proceed with the final step of their promised public procedure – namely, the fraternal, public correction of Pope Francis – perhaps along with asking him to make an explicit Papal Profession of Faith. However, this moment of understandable discouragement could actually turn out to be a moment of Grace.

Let us now remember, for example, St. Joan of Arc. When, during the military battles for the political freedom of France, she thought that she was losing her battle, something happened that almost miraculously turned things around. Therefore, she has been for me, for quite a while now, an inspiration. As I wrote in May of 2016 about St. Joan of Arc:

She is our saint. She will help us continue this combat against the siege and occupation of Rome and against this seeming occupation of the Seat of Peter itself by a man who now even seems to contradict God’s Laws. Saint Joan will give us the spirit to try the impossible, to be forceful and strong when God’s truth is undermined, and, yet, to keep true charity. She will give us the strength to fight when all seems to be against us, when the Powers That Be seem to have all that they need to accomplish their maneuvers. She will teach us that he will finally win who is with God, and not against Him. She will teach us that the saints are with us, and, most of all, the Heavenly Mother.

So, if now the four dubia Cardinals seemingly are losing their own battle, if they are deeply discouraged and disheartened by the loss of two of their comrades-in-arms, what if God were to send them two new comrades? What if that painful event of the loss of two devout and loyal cardinals now unexpectedly inspired others to follow in their footsteps?

Not long ago, after Cardinal Joachim Meisner had died, we published our story about the (now widely-contested) “Müller Conversation in Mainz” concerning word we had received that Müller was dismissed for resisting the ongoing papal agenda of reform. Following this article, I wrote Cardinal Gerhard Müller a personal note. In this personal note, I told him that additional sources who claimed knowledge of the events described in our story had come to our attention, sources who were almost immediately hindered by a lawsuit meant to intimidate and to silence them. (Just this week, another person, Thomas Shirrmacher, a Protestant philosopher and theologian who knows Francis well, said that he believes Müller was dismissed in large part because of his public opposition to female deacons – one of the key points of contention mentioned in our story.) I also said that we trusted that the fuller truth would come out at some point in the near future. (There is more to say about this story, but not now.) And then I said:

We can assure you that we only wish to know the truth. The only reason why we published the now quite contested story was that we considered these “five points” of your dismissal [by Pope Francis] as being so important for the whole Church. Should there be truth in these five points [to include the ordination of female priests] – in whatever concrete context they then appeared – whether during the last audience or at another time – then you yourself would be duty-bound to inform the whole Catholic world about it and to warn us about it. Female priests and married priests mean a protestantization of the Catholic Church.

After asking Cardinal Müller whether he should not also tell Catholics that Amoris Laetitia does indeed contain statements – such as the novel claim that, sometimes for the good of the children, intimate relations (more uxorio) might have to be allowed and maintained, even though the couple is “remarried” and divorced; or that “no one is condemned forever” – that are also heretical and thus detrimental to the salvation of souls, I came to a concluding invitation to Cardinal Müller:

Therefore, I call upon you – in honor of Cardinal Meisner – clearly to assist the three dubiacardinals and to request from Pope Francis to clarify the dubia, and, yes, to sign the dubia yourself.

I never received a reply from Cardinal Müller or his secretary concerning this personal request, although I had received correspondence and even telephone calls from them on more than one occasion in the past.

But perhaps others will be more successful in this matter. For example, I recently felt inspired to see that Professor Ettore Gotti Tedeschi – the former President of the Vatican Bank and an eloquent defender of Catholic truth – just gave a small interview (concerning the sudden death of Cardinal Caffarra) in which he seems to go into that same direction, even though he did not mention, much less propose, any specific names. Here is the important portion – to include some beautiful words about Cardinal Caffarra himself – of that 6 September Italian report, as it was translated by OnePeterFive‘s generous contributor, Mr. Andrew Guernsey:

[Question:] Do you have a personal memory to tell about Cardinal Caffarra?

[Ettore Gotti Tedeschi:] “I have more than one, but many are private and I do not have the right to share them. I will try to remember something about him that honors his memory, without any indiscretions. Caffarra was appointed at the end of 2003 to replace the great Cardinal Biffi. A few months after Biffi’s retirement, in his hermitage above Bologna, I went to see him [Biffi] with my wife and two daughters. We stayed with him for almost three hours, and asked him what he thought of his successor. He told me not only that he himself had named him, but also that no one could be better or more appropriate than Caffarra to lead the Diocese of Bologna. He also told me that he wanted to abstain from any kind of presence in Bologna in order to avoid the risk of misunderstandings of interfering with a person of whom he had absolute esteem and consideration. Since then, I have encountered Cardinal Caffarra several times after the publication of the dubia, [and] the only sentiment that I can make public was his enormous suffering, his love of the Church and the figure of the Pope. Caffarra was a holy man, when he talked about serious things, which made him suffer, he talked about them as someone who has confidence in God, who speaks to God, and above all, listens to him. I do not want to say more.”

[Question:] He [Caffarra] had signed the dubia precisely about Amoris Laetitia. He dies after [Cardinal] Meisner, who was also a signatory to the letter to the Pope. But does the Church, which asks for greater clarity about the Apostolic Exhortation, remain alive?

“In this sense and in this regard, Cardinal Caffarra will remain an example of ‘priestly responsibility,’ an example of virtue worthy of a possible process of future beatification. But I can answer a “trick” question. Now, as I see it, Cardinals Burke and Brandmüller ought to devote more efforts, with superior commitment, to Meisner and Caffarra’s memory. And I hope that two other well-known holy Cardinals (living and working) are available to make up for the work of the two deceased cardinals, replacing them with the commitment to ask for clarity for the good of souls. But now I would like to ask IntelligoNews readers to remember Caffarra with a Requiem. Needless to say, he will protect us from where he is, as he did until yesterday here on earth.” [emphasis added]

Here, Professor Gotti Tedeschi may be suggesting that he has two specific cardinals in mind who, in his opinion, should now fill the empty lots of Cardinals Joachim Meisner and Carlo Caffarra. However, he does not specifically name these names. It is interesting to note, in this context, that Gotti Tedeschi will soon, on 14 September, participate at a Summorum Pontificum conference in Rome with exactly those same two cardinals whom I have had in mind: Cardinals Robert Sarah and Gerhard Müller. Is it hoping for too much that he might now use this occasion to ask them whether they would not actually do that: join ranks with the now possibly discouraged, remaining two dubia cardinals, and to do it especially for the sake of Catholic truth and for the salvation of souls?

What do these cardinals still have to fear if, at this point, nearly everything seems to be lost? When those who try to uphold the traditional moral teaching of the Catholic Church – not only about marriage, but also about contraception, homosexuality, abortion and much more, as Professor Josef Seifert has just pointed out – are being increasingly punished and humiliated? For what are we still truly waiting? Until no one is left to come forth and speak up?

Therefore, I ask our dear readers to send many prayers to heaven that God may inspire two cardinals – whoever they be –  to give new courage to the faithful Catholic world and especially to the two remaining dubia cardinals, so that finally a public fraternal correction of Pope Francis may take place, for his own greater good, and the good of the Catholic Church.

Our Catholic Faith is filled with miracles and great surprises. Let us just think of Lepanto in 1570! Let us not forget the 1920 Miracle of the Vistula! Our Lady surely will help us in this moment of distress. And St. Joan of Arc, too.

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$635,250,759 of government funding was directed to the USCCB and its various agencies from 2011 to 2016. Of this total amount, $452,108,508 was received for programs under the umbrella of USCCB Migration and Refugee Assistance.

Welcoming the $tranger: What’s Really Motivating the USCCB on Immigration & Refugees?

 Amen, amen I say to you: He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber. – John 10:1

With the recent news that President Donald Trump has ordered an end to the Obama-era immigration amnesty program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the topic of illegal immigration is making headlines once again.

Advocates of an open-borders approach to immigration tend to focus on findings indicating

that the willingness of less-skilled immigrants to work at low pay reduced consumption costs — the costs to consumers of goods and services like health care, child care, food preparation, house cleaning, repair and construction — for millions of Americans. This resulted in “positive net benefits to the U.S. economy during the last two decades of the 20th century.” These low-wage workers simultaneously generated “a redistribution of wealth from low- to high-skilled native-born workers.”

Still, while studies on the topic vary in their interpretation of the data, whether you hear it from The Heritage Foundation or the New York Times, it seems fairly uncontentious to tally up illegal immigration costs for the American taxpayer at an amount totaling more than 50 billion dollars a year.

And when it comes to immigrant crime, it should be obvious to anyone that 100% of illegal immigrants to the United States have broken federal law. But what about other crimes? The statistics on the contribution of illegal immigrants to American crime are not easily found in any single location, and disputes over the data are common. But in a 2015 report, Fox News pieced together

a patchwork of local, state and federal statistics that revealed a wildly disproportionate number of murderers, rapists and drug dealers are crossing into the U.S. amid the wave of hard-working families seeking a better life. The explosive figures show illegal immigrants are three times as likely to be convicted of murder as members of the general population and account for far more crimes than their 3.5-percent share of the U.S. population would suggest. Critics say it is no accident that local, state and federal governments go to great lengths to keep the data under wraps.


Statistics show the estimated 11.7 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. account for 13.6 percent of all offenders sentenced for crimes committed in the U.S. Twelve percent of murder sentences, 20 percent of kidnapping sentences and 16 percent of drug trafficking sentences are meted out to illegal immigrants.

There are approximately 2.1 million legal or illegal immigrants with criminal convictions living free or behind bars in the U.S., according to ICE’s Secure Communities office. Each year, about 900,000 legal and illegal immigrants are arrested, and 700,000 are released from jail, prison, or probation. ICE estimates that there are more than 1.2 million criminal aliens at large in the U.S.

With all of this in mind, I have long wondered why the Catholic bishops in this country are so vocally in favor of unrestricted — and even illegal — immigration, and against attempts to reform or restrict our dangerously porous borders. They seem not to care at all that we’re a nation of laws, and that open borders mixed with a welfare state creates a combination that is entirely unsustainable. For years, I assumed that this was to fill the pews in a Catholicism that has shown consistent decline since the end of the Second Vatican Council. In a controversial interview with 60 Minutes this week, former White House chief strategist (and Catholic) Steve Bannon lent his own voice to this theory:

“The Catholic Church has been terrible about this.” Bannon said. “The bishops have been terrible about this. By the way…you know why. You know why. Because unable to really to….to come to grips with the problems in the Church, they need illegal aliens, they need illegal aliens to fill the churches. That’s…it’s obvious on the face of it. That’s what the entire Catholic bishops condemning [Trump’s action on DACA]. They have an economic interest. They have an economic interest in unlimited immigration. Unlimited illegal immigration.”

The USCCB fired back without hesitation, releasing a statement in response to Bannon’s comments at surprising speed. The statement reads:

“It is preposterous to claim that justice for immigrants isn’t central to Catholic teaching. It comes directly from Jesus Himself in Matthew 25, ‘For I was hungry and you gave me food…a stranger and you welcomed me.’ Immigrants and refugees are precisely the strangers we must welcome. This isn’t Catholic partisanship. The Bible is clear: welcoming immigrants is indispensable to our faith.

Caring for and about the ‘Dreamers’ is nothing more than trying to carry out that seemingly simple, but ultimately incredibly demanding, commandment. It is a commandment found throughout Sacred Scripture, reaching back to the Hebrew scriptures, including Leviticus, ‘when an alien resides with you in your land, do not mistreat such a one’ (Lv. 19:33). In fact, the Church has been pro-immigration since God called Abram to leave Ur: ‘Go forth from your land, your relatives, and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you’ (Gn. 12:1). To suggest otherwise is absurd.

The witness of the Catholic bishops on issues from pro-life to pro-marriage to pro-health care to pro-immigration reforms is rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ rather than the convenient political trends of the day. We are called not to politics or partisanship, but to love our neighbor. Let’s reject the forces of division that insist we make a false choice between our safety and our humanity. It is both possible and morally necessary to secure the border in a manner which provides security and a humane immigration policy.

Our pro-immigration stance is based on fidelity to God’s word and honors the American dream. For anyone to suggest that it is out of sordid motives of statistics or financial gain is outrageous and insulting.”

The question I find myself asking, however, is that if the economic benefit illegals present to the nation is their contribution of low-wage, unskilled labor, are they really bringing enough to collection baskets in dioceses across America to justify the effort the bishops make on their behalf?

I don’t know the answer. Recently, however, a friend brought another economic incentive to my attention – the federal money being given to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Charities for the purposes of “refugee resettlement”. You’ll note that while they are not identical terms, in the USCCB statement above, immigrants and refugees are mentioned in the same breath. Refugees are defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act as “any person outside his or her country who has a ‘well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.’” Even so, it can be difficult to tell, depending on the case, where the category of “immigrant” ends and “refugee” begins. In a 2015 article for the Captial Research Center, James Simpson of Foundation Watch tells us

In December 2013, the Obama administration announced an in-country refugee program for Central American Minors (CAMs) that allows persons under 21 years of age from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador direct travel to the U.S. While those countries tragically suffer from high crime and poor economic conditions, merely being a member of an afflicted population does not raise a person to the definition of “refugee.” By offering this status, the Obama administration is deliberately expanding the definition, an action that has been called a “rogue family reunification program.”

Simpson also reveals that

Left-wing grant-makers have embarked on a campaign aimed at overwhelming America with unprecedented levels of immigration. These foundations underwrite a universe of liberal organizations that are devoted to bringing in ever more people from all over the world, and the organizations’ motives include money. These groups, known as “Volunteer Agencies” (VOLAGs), don’t just receive private dollars from liberal foundations; they also are richly rewarded with your tax dollars when they collaborate with federal government agencies.


Primary funding for the VOLAGs comes from the federal and state governments. But many secondary immigrant/refugee advocacy and assistance organizations are supported by wealthy state and national foundations whose assets total tens, if not hundreds, of billions of dollars. Most of these well-established foundations are the Left’s primary source of support outside government.

After revealing the names of over a dozen such progressive foundations — including George Soros’ Open Society Institute and the Media Matters bankrolling Tides Foundation — Simpson goes on to list the nine primary “Refugee Contractors” whom the “federal government pays …. to resettle refugees and asylees.” Among the nine is “CC/USCCB: Catholic Charities/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops”.

According to the table provided — with figures from — We see that from 2008 to 2015, the Catholic Charities/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops shows funding received for refugee resettlement in an amount totaling over $2 billion dollars.

In a story from LifeSiteNews earlier this year, Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch gave a different number, saying that “Over the past nine years, the USCCB has received a total of $534,788,660 in taxpayer dollars for refugee resettlement programs”. It’s difficult to say which figure is more accurate, or how they’re being tallied. But If either number is correct, the USCCB is receiving — at the very least — hundreds of millions of dollars, all to bring refugees from other countries into America.

Simpson goes on:

Because they [the contractors on the above list] are non-governmental organizations (NGOs), they can and do lobby for advantageous changes to immigration law and build allies in Congress and the bureaucracy, all fertilized by an open spigot of taxpayer dollars. While six of the nine contractors are affiliated with religious groups, the false notion that they are charitable organizations just doing the Lord’s work needs to be corrected. They are federal contractors, relying on the government for most, and sometimes all, of their income. This is big business. They do the government’s bidding, whether it honors religious principles or not.

OnePeterFive asked the USCCB if they could verify how much money they are receiving for these services, and how the money given to them for refugee resettlement is allocated. They did not respond to our inquiry.

Curious about what information is publicly available, I did my own search of, and found $635,250,759of government funding directed to the USCCB and its various agencies. After playing with the spreadsheet to remove all the other categories, I discovered that of this total amount, $452,108,508 was received for programs under the umbrella of Migration and Refugee Assistance, for contracts with start dates ranging from 2011 to 2016.

That’s a lot of money for a bishops’ conference to be receiving from the federal government. Enough that one might wonder how it impacts the USCCB’s view on public policy issues. Which is exactly the concern that Deal Hudson, a former advisor to President George W. Bush on Catholic issues, expressed in the aforementioned story from LifeSiteNews:

“Just how dependent have both agencies become on taxpayer money to cover their annual overhead, apart from special programs and services?” Hudson asks. “What percentage of annual receipts does this federal money represent?”

Hudson says he is concerned that an over-dependence on government funding could threaten the Catholic identity of both the USCCB and CRS, and their social justice work.

“How can either institution call itself ‘Catholic’ when they have created financial dependency of the federal government?” he said. “Doesn’t this level of funding make the USCCB hesitant to publicly criticize the Congress and the administration on abortion, same-sex marriage, fetal stem cell research, and euthanasia?”

In light of these staggering figures, the USCCB’s sputtering indignation that anyone would suggest that their work on these matters is for “sordid motives of statistics or financial gain” rings hollow. However much they want to present their work on immigration and refugees as a Gospel issue, it’s difficult to see altruism at work when so many other issues that should concern them go ignored — and so much cash is at stake.

{ Personal disclaimer:  during the last quarter of the 20th Century I was Chairman of the NCCB/USCCB Committee on Migration and Refugee Services.  Abyssum}

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 a pope

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Francis Expands the Fake Magisterium

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In a 450-page book-interview, Pope Bergoglio reduces adultery and fornication to “minor sins,” announces a “battle” against sexual morality via Amoris Laetitia, condones “civil unions” for homosexuals, pronounces all wars unjust, and says the secular state is a healthy thing.

If there was any doubt that Pope Bergoglio’s tumultuous reign is an unparalleled, indeed apocalyptic, threat to the integrity of the Faith, that doubt cannot possibly survive the publication of “Pope Francis: Meetings with Dominique Wolton: Politics and Society,” a 450-page compendium of rambling private conversations between Bergoglio and Wolton, a French sociologist, during an extraordinary series of private audiences at the Vatican.

As he has done habitually over the past four-and-a-half years, in this mega-collection of Bergoglian musings the man from Argentina tells us what he thinks as opposed to what the Church has constantly taught based on what God has revealed, Bergoglio having already declared in another of his infamous interviews that whatever he thinks is the Magisterium: “I’m constantly making statements, giving homilies. That’s magisterium. That’s what I think, not what the media say that I think. Check it out; it’s very clear.”

In Politics and Society we encounter these gems of Bergoglian thought, according to the excerpts published thus far:

  • Morality does not involve precepts of right and wrong:

“How do we Catholics, teach morality? You cannot teach it with precepts such as: ‘You can’t do that, you have to do that, have to, can’t, have to, can’t.’

“Morality is a consequence of the encounter with Jesus Christ. It’s a consequence of faith, for us Catholics. And for others, morality is the consequence of an encounter with an ideal, or with God, or with oneself, but with the better part of oneself. Morality is always a consequence…”
So much for the Ten Commandments, the Gospel warnings concerning the eternal consequences of the failure to obey moral precepts, including those concerning adultery, fornication and sodomy, as well as every catechism of the Church on moral questions.  Bergoglio thinks otherwise, and the Magisterium is what he thinks!

The claim that “morality is a consequence” rather than a precept is classic Modernist obscurantism. God Himself has expressly enunciated specific moral precepts that bind all men to do good and refrain from evil: “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them; he it is that loveth me (Jn. 14:21).”

The most minor sins are the sins of the flesh… The most dangerous sins are those of the mind…”

“But the other sins that are the most serious: hatred, envy, pride, vanity, killing another, taking away a life … these are really not talked about that much.”

So, according to Pope Bergoglio, envying a neighbor’s wealth is worse than committing adultery with a neighbor’s wife. And so much for Our Lord’s warning, and the Church’s constant teaching, that sins of the flesh can be committed precisely as “sins of the mind” by way of impure thoughts.

  • Condemning sexual immorality is “mediocrity”:

“there is a great danger for preachers, that of falling into mediocrity. Condemning only morality­—forgive the expression— ‘under the belt.’ But no one talks of the other sins like hate, envy, pride, vanity, killing another, taking a life. Entering the mafia, making illegal agreements… ‘Are you a good Catholic? Then give me the check’.”
A typically Bergoglian strawman argument.  No confessor condemns “only” sexual sins while ignoring murder and other grave sins.  If anything, today very nearly the opposite is true: sexual sins are widely minimized and excused in the confessional—just as Bergoglio minimizes and excuses them—while inchoate offenses against “social justice” are endlessly and ostentatiously condemned by trendy priests and prelates who have surrendered to the sexual revolution.

As Our Lady of Fatima warned the Fatima seers, more souls are damned on account of sins of the flesh than any others.  But according to Bergoglio, “making illegal agreements” is worse than adultery and fornication.

  • Moral rules are not uniform prohibitions like those Pharisees thought:

“The temptation is always the uniformity of the rules… take for example the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. When I speak of families in difficulty, I say: ‘We must welcome, accompany, discern, integrate…’ and then everyone will see open doors. What is actually happening is that people hear others say: ‘They can’t receive communion,’ ‘They can’t do it:’There lies the temptation of the Church. But ‘no,’ ‘no,’ ‘no!’ This type of prohibition is the same we find with Jesus and the Pharisees….”
The language is both puerile and demagogic:  that mean old Church is always tempted to say no, no, no!  Boo! Hiss! Just like those Pharisees, who Bergoglio never seems to notice tolerated divorce while our Lord condemned them for their institutionalization of adultery. But Bergoglio knows the meaning of mercy, which includes Holy Communion for public adulterers. He will overcome the Church’s “temptation” to say no, no, no to immoral behavior. Hooray for Bergoglio!

What an affront this grandstanding, vulgar, insult-hurling Pope is to the memory of the great Roman Pontiffs who defended the truths of the Faith before a hostile world at the risk of their very lives. That he maintains a reputation for humility represents one of the must successful public relations fantasies in modern history, made possible only with the cooperation of the globe-spanning Fake News Industrial Complex.

  • Priests and young people who insist on uniform, exceptionless moral precepts are sick:“rigid priests, who are afraid to communicate. It’s a form of fundamentalism. Whenever I run into a rigid person, especially if young, I tell myself that he’s sick.”

What does Bergoglio mean by a “rigid person”?  Of course, he has made that quite clear with his endless stream of petty insults: an observant Catholic who thinks that the negative precepts of the natural law admit of no exceptions.
Notice the loathing of the “rigid” young in particular, who threaten the megalomaniacal Bergoglian vision of a “transformed” Church. These uppity young people—no “listening to the young” here! ­—dare to intimate a restoration of orthodoxy and orthopraxis after Bergoglio has gone to his grave. They must be marginalized now by being declared insane in the mode of Soviet propaganda.

“This closed, fundamentalist mindset like Jesus faced is ‘the battle I lead today with the exhortation.’”
There we have it, as if we didn’t already know:  Francis is waging war on the Church’s constant teaching respecting adultery and other violations of the Sixth Commandment, which he deems mere peccadillos compared to such sins as “making illegal agreements.”

“‘Marriage’ is a historical word. Always in humanity, and not only within the Church, it’s between a man and a woman… we cannot change that. This is the nature of things. This is how they are. Let’s call them ‘civil unions.’”
Anyone who thinks Bergoglio has here defended traditional marriage will believe anything. This comment delighted the pro-homosexual, pseudo-Catholic propaganda mill, New Ways Ministry,  condemned by the CDF in 1999. As its website exulted:

What’s new here, however, is his endorsement of civil unions for same-sex couples…. Pope Francis has never, as pontiff, stated his endorsement of civil unions so flatly.   (He did supportcivil unions as a compromise to his opposition towards marriage equality when he was an archbishop in Argentina.  As pontiff, he did make an ambiguous statementabout civil unions, which inspired  more questions than certainty about his position.)  This new statement of support from him is a giant step forward.”

There is no denying the reality: Bergoglio has opened the floodgates to “gay marriage,” labelled “civil union,” which the Church, following his example, will cease to oppose as long as he is Pope.  So much for the contrary teaching of both John Paul II and Benedict XVI on the duty of every Catholic to oppose and refuse to implement any form of legal recognition of “homosexual unions” because “the State could not grant legal standing to such unions without failing in its duty to promote and defend marriage as an institution essential to the common good.”

  • No war is just:

“I don’t like to use the term ‘just war.’ We hear people say: ‘I make war because I have no other means to defend myself.’ But no war is just. The only just thing is peace.”
As is clear by now, whatever Church teaching Francis doesn’t like he simply heaves overboard.  For after all, as he has assured us, the Magisterium is what he thinks.  So much for the contrary teaching of Saint Augustine, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Magisterium for 2,000 years and even the Catechism of John Paul II (§§ 2307-2317), which affirms the Church’s bimillenial Just War doctrine.

Recall that Bergoglio, contrary to the bimillenial teaching of the Church in keeping with the revealed truth of Scripture, has declared that the imposition of capital punishment is a “mortal sin” that should be universally abolished and has even called for the abolition of life sentences because they are a “hidden death penalty.”  He has never, however, demanded the abolition of abortion, even though, in this very interview, he admits it is the murder of innocents as opposed to convicted criminals.

  • The secular state is a good thing:

“The lay state is a healthy thing. There is a healthy laicism. Jesus said: We must render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.”
That Caesar too must render unto God the things that are God’s seems not to have occurred to Bergoglio. Given that the traditional teaching of the Church on the Social Kingship of Christ is decidedly not what Bergoglio thinks, he has excised it from his faux “magisterium” of interviews and airborne press conferences.  He does allow, however, that:

in certain countries like France, this laicism carries the legacy of enlightenment too much, which creates the common belief where religions are considered a subculture. I believe that France—this is my personal opinion, not the official Church one—should ‘elevate’ a little bit the level of laicism, in the sense that it must say that religions are also part of the culture. How to express this in lay terms? Through an openness to transcendence. Everyone can find his form of openness.”

Notice that only when he expresses a mild criticism of the secular state is Bergoglio at pains to note that this is only his opinion, not Church teaching—evidently under the assumption that official Church teaching accepts the secular state without the least reservation! As for “openness to transcendence,” he means merely that the secular state should concede that any and all religions, no matter what they teach, are “part of the culture.”

As readers are no doubt wondering: What is a Catholic to do in the face of the endless raving of this man, who admits in the same interview that in his forties he underwent psychoanalysis “with a Jewish psychoanalyst. For months I went to her house once a week to clear up some things”?

First of all, obviously, we must keep the Faith in spite of Bergoglio’s relentless attacks upon it.

Secondly, we must never for a moment acquiesce by our silence in the man’s false teaching, but rather, according to our station, expose it and condemn it at every turn as soldiers of Christ and members of the Church militant, lest anyone—especially among our family and friends—be lulled into accepting Bergoglio’s errors.  He must be confronted, day in and day out, by the orthodox Catholics he so clearly despises and seeks to ostracize with his cheap demagoguery, even to the point of effectively assisting the secular state he absurdly deems “healthy” in its ever-widening witch hunt for “hate speech” and “hate groups.”

Thirdly, we ought to consider the real possibility that with this Pope we have entered into uncharted territory in the history of the papacy:  The Chair of Peter is occupied by a man who appears to have been validly elected to the papacy, is universally recognized as a successor of Peter, and yet, de facto, is a kind of antipope in terms of his words and deeds. Worse, not even the literal antipopes of the past have uttered the falsehoods and inanities that flow from Bergoglio like a river from its source.

This astounding spectacle should fill us with dread over the threat it poses to the Church, to our children, to countless other souls, and to the world at large.  It should impel us to pray for the Church’s deliverance from this pontificate, but also to pray for Francis himself, despite the legitimate outrage he provokes and the emotional response to his antics that rises in the flesh. It should not, however, be an occasion for gleeful gloating in the manner of the sedevacantist commentators, who delight in what they view as the ultimate confirmation of their thesis that we have had no legitimate Pope since Pius XII.

What we are now witnessing is something other than mere sedevacantism.  What exactly it is, only history will tell.  But it is certainly something the Church has never seen before. Knowing this, we should be appropriately forewarned of what would appear, at this point, to be a dramatic heavenly resolution of the absolutely unprecedented Bergoglian Debacle.

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